#0007 – Bread and Puppets

The day began with blueberry pancakes, with good friends. Then off we were, riding in an old Volkswagen van, to an iconic Vermont Sunday tradition: a performance by The Bread and Puppet Theater.

There, frog men and jugglers strolled about the grass. Singers sang in different languages. It rained, but the performance continued. Tubas played. Drums were slapped. Rants were ranted and dancers danced (I think I fell in love with the bongo player wearing the lip ring and black sunglasses, but don’t tell her that). After the show, I ended up hanging with a good friend, who explained how maybe the world could be saved by all of us being more okay with the occasional peeing of one’s pants.

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#0006 – Equinox

Unlike some of the previous episodes of this podcast, this one has little to do with me. It’s simply a story I stumbled upon that I felt was important to share…

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a German hiker named Nicola Seitz who was looking for a place to stay for her last night in Vermont. As a longtime couch surfer myself, I told her I was happy to host, so one day after work, just as it began to rain, I drove down a winding mountain road toward the trail head where she would appear. After a brief stop at the farmer’s market and a simple yet hearty dinner of stir-fried vegetables, she offered to show her gratitude by sharing with me an essay she simply referred to as ‘The Document.’

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#0005 – A Secret Space

I’m tired, spent, unkempt, and cold. The rain is falling and inside I feel a drought.

In this offering I take a deep, unstable expression, a confession of sorts, and leave my soul freely for you to interpret. I speak openly about my bouts with depression and mental illness, explaining how it is I survive my own ride of life. This narrative summarizes a span of recent difficult moments over the past few weeks, from the depth of dark, naked nights, to the hope of windswept sunsets found by splashing lake waves. It was painful to create. It ripped me raw to put this together, and I’m not sure how you’ll feel after it’s done.

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#0004 – An Accidental Band

Because this podcast is as boundless as the wind, I took us in a different direction with this episode. Then again, maybe the direction’s not so different after all, as I’m not sure I have one — or will find one anytime soon.

We’re extra lucky on this episode since the voice of my friend Abbey, which is far more beautiful than any of my guttural rumbles, sings a few songs. And, since I know you love him, Mike the Guitar takes the stage as well. In fact, I think we were a band that night. Mike says we’re called The Jipped Reans, but since I was slapping my drum sticks on a dried and weathered moose hip bone found in the forest by a friend on the day we first practiced, I have since changed the name to Moose Bone.

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#0003 – The Universe, Drugs and Motherhood

We stand in the rain on the front porch, with cars splash-passing in the dark road. My neighbor, Anthony, drinking a hard cider, doesn’t blink when I ask if he’d be willing to share the poem he’s reading with all of you folks at home. Then we play music. He, the woman he loves, and I. He strums six strings, she runs fingers along the black and white keys, and I snap a beat with taps and slaps. Their voices, together, bounce through melodies, as they look at one another with a tenderness that pushes the rest of everything outside the room.

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#0002 – Paris, Poetry, and Protest Featuring Louisa Drury

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, I sat down with poet, teacher, and friend Louisa Drury at her kitchen table in the small town of Stowe, Vermont, where she was kind enough to share a bit about her time in Paris during a period I — and so many artists I know — have lived in romantic envy of for our entire lives. Gifting us a reading of some of her work, Louisa is a living reminder that art itself is a form of protest.

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Photo by: Bronwyn Fryer

#0001 – Prologue Feat. Mike The Guitar

From a spring sunset we begin by stretching back through the past winter to what brought us here…

We start with a poem called “Sounds of Home,” then head to Ireland — once for adventure, and again for love — before ending up back home in the mountains of Vermont:

We’re also lucky enough to have our musical guest, Mike the Guitar, take us for a ride on a Greyhound bus bound for Reno, followed by a trip to Portland for a date at the homeless shelter.

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Photo by: Arielle Thomas (@whiskyspice)